Fine Wine Time
Vino Villa on Madison Ave.
Writer / Marc Sirkin
Photographer / DeeDee Niederhouse-Mandrell
When Paul and Laura Jacquin first conceived the idea for Vino Villa near downtown Greenwood, they were looking forward to providing a grocery-type establishment, featuring upscale wines and cheeses for Greenwood and the southside. What it has become in its five years, however, was far more than they had planned.
“Our original goal was just a little wine and cheese shop,” Paul said. “Just a grocery design where people could buy fine wine and cheeses and take them home. It was hard to find not only fine wines on the southside, but more importantly, a place where you could go where people could talk to you and teach you a little bit about the wines.”
Once the sign went up, however, things took a turn, and people expressed excitement there would be a place where they could go to sit down, eat and drink a glass of wine.
“But that wasn’t the plan,” Paul explained. “It caused us to rethink our strategy and go back to the drawing board a little bit.”
The plan changed. Vino Villa opened Sept. 24, 2011, serving fine wines and cheeses as well as appetizers. While the plan was originally to use only the first floor of the now 112-year-old house, the home’s second floor has since been renovated to allow patrons to sit and enjoy wine, cheese and a full menu offering sandwiches and pizzas as well as specials created by chef Bob Battle.
The third floor, which was originally the home’s servant quarters, is now home to a bar space that seats more than 40 people. It also receives lots of use during the holidays for private parties as well as for bridal showers and rehearsal dinners.
In addition to seating inside the house, Vino Villa boasts outdoor seating on its travertine patio. Opened in 2013, Paul and Laura began offering live music on the patio in 2014. Live music became a regular offering in 2015, and this year, Paul said, it became so popular that they started offering live music Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and even the random Tuesday.
“The community really embraced us,” Paul said. “We have patrons that literally have been coming here since the first week we opened the doors. We know many, many of our customers by name, and they know many of the servers and people in the kitchen by name.”
“We seek out new and interesting cheeses and wines,” Paul said. “We’re looking for a unique experience to give our guests.”
While Vino Villa does not offer mixed drinks, it does carry a number of beers from local microbreweries, including Oaken Barrel in Greenwood, Taxman in Bargersville, Upland in Bloomington and Sun King in Indianapolis.
Despite Vino Villa’s success, Paul and Laura have plans for the future. They purchased the building behind the restaurant and plan to use that property for additional parking as well as the possibility of moving a portion of the retail sales to the new property, opening much of the first floor for additional seating.
While Paul works fulltime at the restaurant, Laura works fulltime as a healthcare consultant, but both are responsible for the vision of Vino Villa.
“This is very much a partnership,” Laura said.
Paul and Laura have been married for 30 years, and they have two grown children.
Vino Villa is located at 200 N. Madison Ave. It is open 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. For more information, visit vinovilla.com.